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Sturgis Museum, Antique of the Month

1948 Indian Chief from the Kenny Price Collection

By Christine Paige Diers, with photos from the Sturgis Museum


The 1948 Indian Chief in the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum is now 63 years old and doesn’t look a day over, well, absolutely brand new.

The '48s life started as a bike ridden for a very long time. As the story goes, down from owner to owner, this bike is a three-owner bike. The first owner bought her brand new and rode her all over the country - hitting the Sturgis Rally many times. The original owner loved his Chief and kept up with the proper maintenance to keep it a dependable bike for short or long rides. These old bikes needed more maintenance than new bikes, so it was a labor of love to keep the Chief in such great shape.

The meticulous care of the old Chief kept it in top condition so when the second owner acquired it, the Chief didn’t really need repair. Still, the second owner had plans to restore the bike to “better than new” condition. The restoration did not include making the Chief just like new but even more flashy than new – almost like eye candy.

The second owner was so proud of how the bike turned out he made room in his office for it behind velvet ropes. When it was time to remodel the office the bike was not included in his plans. It was time to part with his beloved masterpiece.

Through the grapevine Kenny Price heard of its intended sale. Photos were sent through the internet and Kenny bought the bike at full price for the “Kenny Price Collection.” Kenny made sure every bike he owned ran so he took the Chief through its paces and fired it up. Within a few hours it ran like a dream and was ridden for several miles before being put into the collection.

Kenny’s collection of rare and unique bikes grew but could not be admired by many since the collection was housed in a private room at his manufacturing facility. Kenny decided he wanted to share his collection with other motorcycle enthusiasts, so he sent most of the antiques to South Dakota where many of them found a great home at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.

Thanks to Kenny and other owners, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame can share the great history of motorcycling with the public.

Thanks, Kenny!


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